Museum Renewal Project

full bike rack

The Peterborough Museum and Archives completed the Museum Renewal Project in 2017.

Phase I

We undertook a major facelift to our public spaces (lobby, entrance and galleries) in 2010. The public instantly recognized the positive results, and visitation has steadily increased ever since. However, despite these transformative improvements, creating additional space was the only solution that would facilitate organizational improvements in other areas.

Museum exterior

Phase II

In 2012, City Council endorsed Phase II of our Renewal Project. Phase II includes: the construction of a 9,000-square-foot dedicated storage building; renovation of 3,000-square-feet of the main building, including a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC); and the purchase and installation of custom collection storage systems. Phases II and I successfully resolved the most pressing facility issues affecting human safety and accessibility, collections preservation and access, as well as public-programming spaces.

Curatorial Centre


Phase III

Exterior conditions were creating periods of considerable condensation, which were most noticeable at doors, windows, and at the roofline of exhibition galleries. Phase III of our project began in 2016 which included the installation of new exterior cladding and windows on the main building of the museum. These changes improved our preservation and exhibition environments for our artifacts and archival collections. It also improved our sustainability and efficiency by reducing operational and maintenance costs.

Long term impacts

The Museum Renewal Project improves and ensures:

  • On-site storage facilities and environmental controls for all collections
  • Separation between storage areas and other uses (better environmental conditions for the artifacts, improved safety and security for artifacts and people)
  • Working facilities for staff, volunteers, students, and the public
  • Public access to collections, programming, and services
  • Security, improving human and collections safety
  • Dedicated programming space within the main building
  • The PMA's capacity to expand its collections, thereby preserving a greater percentage of Peterborough's important cultural legacy

Museum renewal project budgeted costs

Total approved budget of $3,343,200 for:

  • Construction of a 9,000-square-foot storage facility
  • Renovation to about 3,00-square-feet of the PMA's lower level
  • Storage and relocation of the PMA's collections

Confirmed funding of $3,343,200 from:

  • City of Peterborough ($2,836,966)
  • Department of Canadian Heritage, Cultural Spaces Fund ($380,000)
  • Department of Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program ($50,000)
  • Fleming College ($60,000)
  • City of Peterborough, Access Fund ($13,000)
  • Peterborough Utilities Group, Save on Energy Fund ($3,234)

Who was involved?

The Museum Renewal Project was led by a steering committee with staff representation from finance, buildings, and community services.

Lett Architects Inc. (now Unity Design Studio) were the primary consultants and designed the new facility, renovation of the lower level, and design of the main building's exterior.

Mortlock Construction Inc. oversaw the construction of the new facility and the renovation of the lower level ensuring that the various phases were well coordinated. Many local sub-contractors worked with Mortlock Construction to undertake the construction and renovation work.

P2i Strategies Ltd. Served as the project managers for the Museum Renewal Project.

JHG Consulting Network Inc. were the collection relocation consultants who oversaw the movement of collections.

AMJ Campbell Van Lines undertook the physical relocation and temporary storage of the collections.

To learn more about this project, read the article, "Peterborough Museum and Archives: Facility Renewal Project – Phase III" in the 2017-2018 winter edition of Papyrus magazine.